Veterinarian Advice: Safe Usages of Coconut Oil for Dogs
Coconut oil has become the go-to edible and topical superhero of health and beauty buffs hoping to burn fat, boost their energy and condition their hair and skin. Can our canine companions reap some of these same benefits?
In a (coco)nutshell, yes! But prior to adding coconut oil or any new supplement to your dog’s pet wellness regimen, check with your veterinarian at New Haven Pet Hospital for more insight on how (and if) coconut oil could benefit your individual dog.
In the meantime, we’ve pulled together a few pointers regarding coconut oil and how it might help your dog.
Coconut oil can treat many conditions affecting your dog’s skin or coat. To apply topically, liquify small amounts in your hands and massage it into the affected areas. Let it penetrate for at least 5 minutes before wiping off the excess or using a gentle shampoo.
Curtailing Pesky Parasites
Fleas and ticks are common concerns when the weather warms, and coconut oil makes an excellent, all-natural alternative to chemical preventives. Coconut oil can be used as a repellent, plus it contains a saturated fat called lauric acid, which coats the exoskeleton of parasites already present on your pet.
Infections and Inflammation
Coconut oil offers a one-two punch when it comes to fighting skin infections: it fights off bacteria as well as fungi. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps speed up the healing process for abrasions, insect bites, minor wounds, allergic reactions, and other skin conditions.
Eczema and Skin Allergies
For a dog with itchy skin, coconut oil offers many benefits. Some dog breeds, such as bulldogs, are more prone to skin problems, like eczema, than others. Coconut oil treats the inflammation, itchiness, and scaly skin associated with eczema, allergies, and other skin irritations.
Your Canine’s Crowning Glory
Making coconut oil part of your dog’s grooming routine can give him a healthy, shiny coat that’s the envy of the dog park. It can be applied alone or added to your dog’s shampoo.
There are some benefits to adding small amounts of coconut oil to your pet’s diet. Coconut oil is said to help boost immunity, improve nutrient absorption, and reduce overall inflammation. While coconut oil is generally safe for consumption in small amounts, we strongly suggest consulting with your veterinarian at your pup’s next pet wellness checkup before adding coconut oil to his diet. When dogs are fed coconut oil on a regular basis, they need to be monitored for weight gain, gastrointestinal distress, and other signs of intolerance.
If you have a dog with itchy skin, it is best to first get a diagnosis so that we can pinpoint the cause of your dog’s discomfort. Please contact us at (260) 493-3739 to schedule an appointment or if you have more questions about the benefits of coconut oil.